Word of the day

November 17, 2013

Nutation – a periodic variation in the inclination of the axis of a rotating object;  the act or an instance of nodding the head, especially involuntarily or spasmodically; a wobble in a spinning gyroscope or other rotating body; a small irregularity in the precession of the equinoxes; the circular swaying movement of the tip of a growing shoot; spontaneous movements of plant parts during growth.

The points tally for #gigatownoamaru is growing, but not wobbling.


Rural round-up

November 17, 2013

Materials made from natural New Zealand wool go hi-tech in China:

With concern growing in China about the health risks from air pollution, a Kiwi start-up is expecting keen interest in its wool-based filtration products when it exhibits at the China High-Tech Fair.

Auckland-based Texus Fibre specialises in next generation materials which harness wool’s outstanding natural functionality for use in a range of products. An early application for its technology is personal particulate respirators and filters for use in industry.

“Around the world, and particularly in China, people are increasingly worried about the increase in the quantity and toxicity of dust,” says Texus Fibre founder and director Nick Davenport. “The problem has grown to the point that the World Health Organisation recently classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic to humans. . .

Quad code urged for rural sector – Richard Rennie:

An experienced farm-safety tutor is urging the farming sector to develop a code of practice for quad-bike use to enforce safer use by farmers and their staff.

Northland FarmSafe instructor Robin Grieve’s patch was the focus of a coronial report on quad-bike deaths, prompted by a spate of accidents in 2010 and 2011. . . .

Merger divides co-op hopefuls – Tim Fulton:

Silver Fern Farms (SFF) director candidate Dan Jex-Blake says he will stand down after his first three years on the board if he doesn’t believe a merger of SFF and Alliance Group is likely by then.

Another candidate to come out of the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group, former chairman Richard Young, who is also standing for SFF, was not so definitive.

“I’d be silly to say I’m not standing on a platform for industry change around consolidation,” Young said. . .

Evening markets: biofuels reforms hammer final nail into soy – Agrimoney:

Which is more important for agricultural commodity investors – data on US exports, or on domestic demand? 

On the evidence of Friday’s performance in soybeans, trade statistics proved the more influential, hands down. 

The National Oilseed Processors Association came in with some strong data on the US soybean crush in October, pegging it 157.1m bushels – well above market expectations of a 154.3m-bushel result.  As an extra fillip, soyoil stocks were lower than expected too, at 1.36bn pounds, compared with a forecast 1.49bn pounds. . .

Eliminate the [water] bugs – Willy Leferink:

I am writing this from Vietnam as I look at how they farm.  For a communist country it seems pretty entrepreneurial but that’s come out of reality versus theory.  After reunification, in 1976, the purists collectivised rice production and collapsed output.  One decade later, Vietnam allowed its farmers to grow and sell their own rice, albeit, within boundaries.   Today however, Vietnam has become the World’s No. 1 rice exporter.

When it comes to rice production water is critical as it is back in New Zealand.

In our many discussions about water quality we often overlook the fact that livestock need good quality drinking water too.  Cows are mammals just like humans so good water is in farming’s own self-interest.  Given the marvels of modern communication, I managed to catch One News’ coverage of the proposed amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. 

It may sound dry but it has massive implications for all Kiwis. . .

One of those years – Angela Dorie:

Out here on the area farms it has been another case of “one of those years”.

Crops were hard to get in, with the cold and wet weather playing havoc with timing for many.

Early planted corn was stressed by too much cold and rain while some later planted fields struggled to mature before the first frost in early September.

Some crop land displayed its low spots with either stunted, yellowed growth or nothing at all.

The soy planting, done after the corn, seemed to go better and combining is now in full swing with many farmers extremely pleased with the yields. The corn will no doubt be a different story for some.

The hay harvest, for the third year in a row, proved to be difficult, especially for those who make the small square bales. The June rains didn’t leave enough good weather in a row to cut, dry and bale the 10,000 or so first cut bales we make yearly, so the harvest dragged on through July and well into August. . . .

Hot to trot farmer makes trotting history:

Federated Farmers is saluting the success of arable and sheep farmer, Ricky May, who made the history books yesterday in the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup.

“Becoming the most successful driver in 110 years, of the great race, takes a lot of talent and we are thrilled for Ricky who is a valued member of the Federation,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“It is humbling to see that even with the nation celebrating his success, when we spoke to him he was back out in the paddock spraying peas. . .


Landscape of the Heart

November 17, 2013

landscape

It is still so new & all we see is the empty space, but that is not how it is in the landscape of the heart. There, there is no empty space & he still laughs & grapples with ideas & plans & nods wisely with each of us in turn. We are proud to have known him. We are proud to have called him friend.

You can get a daily dose of email whimsy like this by signing up at Story People by Brian Andreas.

Today’s choice was inspired by this moving post at A Bee of A Certain Age.


Dear Younger Self

November 17, 2013

@[252006304935213:274:Word Porn]!

Only two words?

Mine would be: Love, laugh.


“Rattiest and most cunning”

November 17, 2013

Rodney Hide on tax policy and politics:

. . . Economics teaches that the tax system should be efficient: that is, raise the required amount with least cost. That means a flat tax or, better yet, a poll tax. The flatter the income tax, the less the distortion. And a poll tax creates next to none. The only way to dodge a poll tax is to emigrate.

But poll taxes and flat taxes rob politics of its magic. It would no longer be possible to vote for a handout paid for by others. More handouts would mean more tax for everyone. Where’s the magic in that? What’s more, a flat tax stops politicians buying the votes of the many at the expense of the few. Politicians will never support such a change.

Those elected to office don’t know and don’t care the deadweight cost of tax. But they sure as hell know what it takes to win middle voters: money for free if you just vote for me.

There’s no obvious way for a government to win and hold 50% of voters while making the tax system fairer and more efficient. . .

When it comes to tax good policy isn’t good politics and once redistributive policies like Working for Families or interest-free student loans are well established it would be political suicide to stop them.

You can, as the National government has, reduce their burden by for example lowering the income level at which WFF stops and making more of an effort to track down loan defaulters.

But they were dead rats the party had to swallow before the 2008 election in the knowledge the alternative of advocating for their removal was another three years in opposition.

The brute reality is that policy is designed to win and to hold power. There’s a rat cunning that drives politics in western democracies, and the big-spending pollies are the rattiest and the most cunning of them all.

That’s a pretty blunt assessment but that’s the reality of politics.

You can die in a ditch in opposition where you can do little or swallow a few dead rats to get, and stay, in government where you can make a difference.


#gigaBOMB for #gigatownoamaru

November 17, 2013

All supporters of #gigatownoamaru are asked to use the weekend’s Victorian Heritage Celebrations to get gigabombing:

Here is a challenge for all of you in #gigatownoamaru! We are starting off with a photo challenge! We want everyone who is attending any event over this weekend in Oamaru to post photos here, we are #GIGABOMBING the town!

A couple of days… ago we asked about you internet speeds in and around Oamaru, how slow were they!!!

We would like you to get out your cameras and phones, take photos of all the Victorians and locals enjoying themselves then upload here the full sized pictures.

Whilst uploading, start counting seconds and tell us how long they took. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THIS IS HOW WE WILL GET POINTS!

Please comment on the photos, but remember to #gigatownoamaru

We will add the photos to an album for everyone to see along with the names of the photographer, and contact details if you are a professional!

Here is a challenge for all of you in #gigatownoamaru! We are starting off with a photo challenge! We want everyone who is attending any event over theis weekend in Oamaru to post photos here, we are #GIGABOMBING the town! A couple of days ago we asked about you internet speeds in and around Oamaru, how slow were they!!! We would like you to get out your cameras and phones, take photos of all the Victorians and locals enjoying themselves then upload here the full sized pictures. Whilst uploading, start counting seconds and tell us how long they took. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS THIS IS HOW WE WILL GET POINTS! Please comment  on the photos, but remember to #gigatownoamaru  We will add the photos to an album for everyone to see along with the names of the photographer, and contact details if you are a professional!


Sunday soapbox

November 17, 2013

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse – and to support #gigatownoamaru .

>How do you exercise your creativity?


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